Olympian Nick Baumgartner leads Ishpeming’s Independence Day parade
The gold medalist met with some locals at the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame before serving as the parade’s grand marshal
ISHPEMING, Mich. (WLUC) - Fourth of July weekend is officially underway in Upper Michigan. On Saturday, Ishpeming had its holiday festivities with Olympic Gold Medalist Nick Baumgartner as the grand marshal of the parade.
The Olympian spent half of the morning for a meet and greet at the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame, talking about his journey to the top. The 40-year-old Iron River native called the event special.
“Just to see how many people are behind me and in my corner, it’s very nice for a guy like me to come and have so much support behind me,” Baumgartner said.
Visitors had the opportunity to look at Baumgartner’s athletic gear. The snowboarder also recorded a podcast episode with Hall of Fame Director Justin Koski, Dan Egan, and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Seth Wescott. Ishpeming City Manager Craig Cugini said it was vital to have Baumgartner.
“We wanted to make sure that, with the Ski Hall of Fame in our town, that skiing and snowboarding heritage was recognized,” Cugini said.
In addition to meeting and greeting people in the community, Baumgartner was also the Grand Marshal in the city’s annual Fourth of July parade.
“I enjoy smiling. I do it all the time,” Baumgartner said. “It was great to see all the faces, the kids and the excitement throughout the whole journey of the parade.”
“We wanted to make sure we nabbed him up in his Olympic year to be in our parade,” said Cugini. “We started very early in trying to get him under contract so that other cities didn’t compete for him.”
Joining Baumgartner in the parade were first responders, the Ishpeming High School track team, and some members of TV6. In the end, the gold medalist hopes to be an inspiration for the next generation.
“I’m hoping to use my story the best that I can to help inspire more stories like mine to come out of the Upper Peninsula,” Baumgartner said.
Because notable achievements, along with traditional holidays, are always worth celebrating.
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